Molecular mechanism of AMD3100 antagonism in the CXCR4 receptor: transfer of binding site to the CXCR3 receptor

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Mette M Rosenkilde, Lars-Ole Gerlach, Janus S Jakobsen, Renato T Skerlj, Gary J Bridger, Thue W Schwartz

AMD3100 is a symmetric bicyclam, prototype non-peptide antagonist of the CXCR4 chemokine receptor. Mutational substitutions at 16 positions located in TM-III, -IV, -V, -VI, and -VII lining the main ligand-binding pocket of the CXCR4 receptor identified three acid residues: Asp(171) (AspIV:20), Asp(262) (AspVI:23), and Glu(288) (GluVII:06) as the main interaction points for AMD3100. Molecular modeling suggests that one cyclam ring of AMD3100 interacts with Asp(171) in TM-IV, whereas the other ring is sandwiched between the carboxylic acid groups of Asp(262) and Glu(288) from TM-VI and -VII, respectively. Metal ion binding in the cyclam rings of AMD3100 increased its dependence on Asp(262) and provided a tighter molecular map of the binding site, where borderline mutational hits became clear hits for the Zn(II)-loaded analog. The proposed binding site for AMD3100 was confirmed by a gradual build-up in the rather distinct CXCR3 receptor, for which the compound normally had no effect. Introduction of only a Glu at position VII:06 and the removal of a neutralizing Lys residue at position VII:02 resulted in a 1000-fold increase in affinity of AMD3100 to within 10-fold of its affinity in CXCR4. We conclude that AMD3100 binds through interactions with essentially only three acidic anchor-point residues, two of which are located at one end and the third at the opposite end of the main ligand-binding pocket of the CXCR4 receptor. We suggest that non-peptide antagonists with, for example, improved oral bioavailability can be designed to mimic this interaction and thereby efficiently and selectively block the CXCR4 receptor.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)3033-41
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Anti-HIV Agents; Binding Sites; Heterocyclic Compounds; Humans; Models, Molecular; Protein Binding; Protein Conformation; Receptors, CXCR4; Signal Transduction

ID: 21666711